History of Holy Family Parish
Holy Family Parish began as an outreach mission of the Jesuit missionaries who built their first chuch, St. Stanislaus, in Lewiston in 1867. Originally the Jesuits from Lewiston frequently crossed the river to Clarkston and offered Mass in private homes.
In 1901 the Catholics in Clarkston purchased two lots at Chestnut and 11th Streets and, using volunteer labor, they constructed a two-story brick-veneer building. This building was completed in 1903 at a cost of $2,000.
The ground floor was to be used as a school and the second floor as the Church. An Altar Society was formed, and Masses were offered there regularly by the Lewiston Jesuits.
Catholics continued to settle in southeastern Washington and in 1911 Sacred Heart Church was built near the Asotin/Garfield County line to serve the Peola area. This area was incorporated into Holy Family Parish in 1940.
In Clarkston, the Church grew rapidly during the first years and in 1913 plans were drawn up for a larger, wood-framed church. The building seated 280 and was completed at a cost of $5,000 and dedicated in 1915, the same year Holy Family Parish was established within the Spokane Diocese.
Father E.A. Jordan opened Holy Family School in the 1903 buildin in 1921. The School Sisters of Notre Dame taught the 44 students who enrolled that first year. Within two months the number of students increased to 70. Over the years as parents strove to give their children and education in both academics and religion the number of students steadily rose. In the year 1973-1974 there were 217 students. The present building on the corner of 10th and Chestnut was completed in 1937 and enlarged in 1950 when a surplus building from the old Farragut Naval Station was moved to Clarkston.
The rectory was built in 1924. Prior to that date, the pastor had been living in the small sacristy and cooking meals in the church basement. The building was enlarged in 1968.
A residence at 917 Chestnut was purchased in 1921 for the sisters to live in. The building was torn down and replaced in 1968. In 1982, after the sisters left Clarkston, this building became the parish center, with offices and meeting rooms.
The present contemporary church building has many statistics which help to describe it. It is constructed of pre-cast concrete panels and pillars shipped from Spokane. The inside diameter is 90 feet; the height from center floor to the "bubble" dome is 33 feet; the seating capacity 600. Stained glass windows are the work of Gabriel Loire of France. The cost of the building built "in the round" was $248,634. Ground was broken July 1, 1962 and the first Mass was celebrated October 20, 1963. The altar was consecrated January 5, 1964.
Vocations in Church ministry have come forth from both Holy Family Parish and the community of Sacred Heart Church. Holy Family has been blessed with excellent leadership in worship and community.